Another Perspective

Socialized Acting

Attention Hollywood: It's the wave of the future.

By 1.17.08

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As I opened the paper today to find a list of the charitable contributions made by the entertainment industry, I was not at all shocked to see at least 90 percent were given to Democratic candidates. Now the one issue all these candidates and entertainers agree on, other than the fact that they hate Republicans and George Bush, is the idea of universal health care. Universal health care is the nice way of saying socialized medicine because at the end of the day we would be putting restrictions on how much doctors can make.

Now let's see doctors go through eight years of school at a cost of at least $200,000, not to mention the sleep deprivation that they suffer most of that time. They sacrifice most, if not all, of their social life for the idea and goal that one day they might get to be a doctor. What present do they get when they graduate, at least another four years of interning with, again, at best a limited social life! So to recap: eight years of schooling, four years of interning and at least $200,000 of debt, oh, and I almost forgot, no social life.

Theater tickets' price continues to climb while top tiered actors like George Clooney make upwards of $20 million a movie. So it occurred to me today, why not socialized acting? Now I know the argument will be, "Well, people don't need to go to a movie," but as Patch Adams showed me, laughter is the best medicine and doctors really aren't all that important. Aren't the arts as important? Should not every person get to and have to see such brilliant movies as Oceans 11, 12, and 13?

I figure I went to the movies about ten times last year. Each time it cost me about $30, which is about $300 a year. I say we take the money that we spend on movies and instead put it into health care. I mean, of course actors will still be well paid, but the government will tell them how much it wants them to make. This plan will work not only for actors, but also for the many singers out there who are constantly preaching how unfair our society is. Instead of 99 cents a song, let's say we charge nine cents a song and give the other ninety to those in need. That would never happen, though, because we only like to give away and be tough guys with other people's money. How big of us.

How backward is society that actors and directors that make $20 million a year are telling people that have spent half their lives in school how much they can make? Just because you played a doctor or a lawyer on TV and did a great job, George Clooney, at the end of the day that is all you were doing. It was a great job, yes, but it was just a role.

Now, if given the choice, who do I want making $20 million a year? Do I want the doctor operating on a heart in real life, or the doctor operating on a heart on TV or in the movies? I choose the doctor in real life! Now, if we back off on socialized medicine, perhaps, we can back off of socialized acting, or maybe not!

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About the Author

Judah Friedman is a writer in Los Angeles.